discovery of a huge sauropod dinosaur skeleton

Sauropods are herbivorous and recognizable by their long necks and long tails, which can reach up to 12 meters high and 25 meters long. They are among the largest animals that have ever lived on Earth.

Portuguese and Spanish paleontologists exhumed at the beginning of August, in the garden of a house in central Portugal, fossilized bones of a dinosaur which could be the largest sauropod ever discovered in Europe.

“It is one of the largest examples known in Europe, even worldwide,” said paleontologist Elisabete Malafaia, from the Dom Luiz Institute of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, on Monday.

Among all the vertebrae and ribs collected, which date from the Jurassic period around 150 million years ago, the researchers found the remains of a rib about three meters long, she said.

New excavations planned

The first discovery of these fossils dates back to 2017, when a resident of the Pombal region dug the earth with an excavator to build an annex on his property.

In early August, a team of researchers unearthed the remains of the dinosaur to conduct in-depth studies on these fossils. New excavations could be conducted in the coming months on the site of their discovery as well as in the surrounding region.

The fossils discovered near Pombal should belong to an animal of the brachiosaur family that lived during the Upper Jurassic.

The fact that these skeletal parts were found together, in the “original” position they had while the dinosaur was alive, is “relatively rare”, noted Elisabete Malafaia.

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